Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) used to send email newsletter containing news, announcements and invitations from many synagogues, service groups, organizations and businesses. The newsletter was so long, unwieldy and unfocused that most recipients didn’t find it useful.
CJP wanted to deliver better and more relevant information to Jewish individuals, while also providing a simple way for participating organizations to post and promote their own content.
Approach: Web-Based Community
JewishBoston.com is a web-based open, sensitive and welcoming community where all who want to participate in Jewish life can easily find out about personally relevant organizations, events, resources and communities. The JewishBoston.com experience is optimized both for Jewish individuals, as well as institutions and businesses who serve the community. Organizations such as synagogues and business use the site to post events, invitations and other relevant content, as well as promoting and monetizing their own paid events. The individual’s experience is personalized by their profile, and by their interactions with other community members.
A first visiter to JewishBoston.com might browse the many resources the site offers including events, blog posts, recipes, and Jewish information. This frequently-updated content is posted by nearly 500 participating Jewish organizations.
Once a visitor discovers the wealth of resources the site offers they can go to the prominently featured “MyJewishBoston” section where they can join the community, using their Facebook identity if they prefer. During the sign-up process they are presented with a detailed survey about their likes, affiliations and location. These are saved as preferences which are used to personalize the JewishBoston.com experience by highlighting content relevant to that particular community member.
When an individual becomes a member they can choose to receive a personalized newsletter. They can also post to their own personal JewishBoston.com blog, contributing to the conversation and content of the site. Social media integration spreads content beyond the site.
Organizations also have an interface to post their content tagged for interests and location. They can even set up paid events with built-in ecommerce to generate needed funds.
Results: An Important Community-Building Tool
By developing a site that serves the interests of both Jewish individuals and organizations that serve the Jewish community JewishBoston.com has become an important overarching social hub.
JewishBoston’s numbers are impressive, they’ve met or exceeded their key goals by the end of their first year, exceeding 30,000 monthly visits, over 22,000 unique visitors, exceeding 100,000 poge views. And the have over 20,000 subscribers to the Events and 20s/30s newsletters.
Individuals are supported in their goal to participate more fully in the rich palette of local Jewish activities which they might otherwise not be aware of, including enhancing the works of many charitable non-profit service organizations. By creating a continuum of involvement from “cradle to cradle,” JewishBoston.com provides opportunities for families with young children, school-age children, teenagers, college students and young adults to have meaningful Jewish experiences with the potential for long-term impact.
Nearly 500 organizations participate in JewishBoston.com in the Greater Boston area. This is a stunning level of participation that speaks to the success and ease-of-use of the site. By creating an environment where organizations can promote themselves and even generate revenue from paid events, JewishBoston.com has postive effect on virtually every Jewish organization in the area.